Immigration: When the Senate Bill Meets ObamaCare Costs Will Spike
Dr. Betsy McCaughey, the former Lieutenant Governor of New York, is the author of Beating Obamacare, and a renowned expert on President Obama’s signature healthcare law. In an interview with Breitbart News, McCaughey discussed the effect on the nation if the Senate immigration bill passes into law and intersects with the already cumbersome ObamaCare legislation.
Quick to get down to the details, McCaughey is concerned about the costs to American taxpayers if the two massive pieces of legislation are permitted to overlap with each other.
As she wrote in the Wall St. Journal, in a response to an op-ed in April written by two members of the “Gang of Eight,” Sens. John McCain and Charles Schumer, McCaughey said that while the United States is an immigrant society, “we also have to pay the bills.” She noted that what was missing from the Senators’ editorial were the “upfront costs imposed by the bipartisan immigration bill.”
McCaughey told Breitbart News that she sees two major costs if the Senate immigration bill is passed.
First, is the cost of ObamaCare benefits for the number of people entering the country legally, because of the “back of the line” provision accelerating the admission of immigrants with green cards.
Under ObamaCare, according to McCaughey, legal immigrants will be eligible for subsidized private health plans on the state exchanges as soon as they arrive in the U.S. The Senate bill’s plan will add $100 billion to the cost of ObamaCare’s subsidies over the next 10 years by doubling the number of legal immigrants entering with green cards.
McCaughey said that, according to the Gang of Eight plan, “Illegal immigrants will go to the ‘back of the line,’ behind the 4.5 million people outside the U.S. who applied for green cards and are waiting."
“The line is 19 years long,” McCaughey tells Breitbart News. “To clear it in 10 years requires doubling the number of legal immigrants admitted to the U.S. each year with green cards.”
“Last year, 484,072 people entered the U.S. with green cards, but the Gang’s plan will push that number to about one million,” McCaughey warns. “Half of them will be eligible for the maximum assistance with premiums, subsidies and copays, totaling $9,000 per person. More than 80% of these individuals will qualify for at least some taxpayer-funded ObamaCare subsidy.”
In June, McCaughey responded to Karl Rove’s op-ed in the WSJ, entitled “Immigration Reform and the Hispanic Vote.” Disagreeing with Rove’s statement that, in the Senate bill, immigrants granted provisional status (amnesty) must “prove they’ve been steadily employed, paid all taxes, and aren’t on welfare” in order to renew their status after six years and move toward getting a green card, McCaughey expertly observed that, while the Senate bill states that provisional immigrants must be employed, “it also waives that requirement for anyone who is in job training, getting a high school or GED diploma, attending college, taking care of a child, is over 60 or is unemployed.”
“That covers everyone,” McCaughey stated flatly. “To stay in this country as a provisional and qualify for a green card in 10 years, you need to be working, except if you’re not.”
The second cost concern for McCaughey is the fact that people will be entering the U.S. to join their relatives and will be receiving healthcare through emergency rooms and community healthcare clinics, the latter of which are greatly expanded under ObamaCare.
“There will be no fees for people crossing the border, so we will have a flood of relatives,” says McCaughey.
Though Kathleen Sebelius has been criticized for soliciting private funds to Enroll America, a group run by former Obama campaign operatives that signs Americans up for ObamaCare, McCaughey wrote in a piece for Investors Business Daily, “The real monkey business is what the secretary is doing with taxpayers’ money- pouring it into community organizations.”
According to McCaughey, “The likelihood is that these community organizations will steer the uninsured into the Democratic Party.”
American taxpayers, she says, are further at risk with the Senate immigration bill, which McCaughey refers to as a “carbon copy of ObamaCare.” According to her, the legislation “pays community organizations to educate immigrants about American civics and the path to citizenship.”
These organizations, she says, will obtain federal grants “to screen them for eligibility, assist them in documenting their residence, employment, and tax history, coordinate applications for family members and apply for waivers where needed.”
Outsourcing, observes McCaughey, allows community organizations to be politicized and to avoid scrutiny. “The Obama health law,” she says, “creates a permanent stream of funding for unions and community activists by outsourcing insurance enrollment to them.”
According to McCaughey, “If you’re a citizen with a household income below 138% of poverty ($32,000 for a family of four) and you’re uninsured, the Obama health law will send you to Medicaid as of January 1, 2014. Medicaid is generally inferior coverage, because it pays doctors and hospitals so little. The better alternative- private coverage- is what legal newcomers will get as of January 1, 2014, affording them higher quality care than low income citizens.”